The Northern Territory (NT) Racing Commission and the NT Consumer Affairs Commissioner have today launched an investigation into the Darwin Greyhound Association, and defined the terms of reference for the investigation. Darwin Greyhound Club members and concerned members of the public have been invited to submit concerns and information to the investigators.
In the NT greyhound racing is governed by the Racing and Betting Act 1983 and NT Consumer Affairs administers the Associations Act 2003. The investigation will examine a series of complaints from current and former members and trainers about the operations of the association and greyhound racing.
The investigation was originally announced in June of 2020, but the terms of reference of the investigation have only been announced this week.
The investigation into the Darwin Greyhound Association will examine a series of complaints from current and former members and trainers about the operations of the association and greyhound racing.
Chairperson of the NT Racing Commission Alastair Shields said there had been a series of complaints about the operation of the Darwin Greyhound Association. The Racing Commission acting with the NT Commissioner for Consumer Affairs agreed it was appropriate to undertake an investigation under both the Racing and Betting Act 1983 and the Associations Act 2003.
The investigation will examine whether the association and the operations of greyhound racing have met industry and legislative requirements. The Darwin Greyhound Association is said to be supportive of the investigation and will work with the investigators in a spirit of cooperation.
Mr Shields said the aim of the investigation was to identify and make recommendations on systemic issues, to improve the operation of the greyhound industry in the NT and ensure the Darwin Greyhound Association in meeting its obligations under the Associations Act.
Darwin law firm Hutton McCarthy was originally names to undertake the investigation as it had prior experience with Greyhound Racing Victoria and animal welfare matters.
Darwin Greyhound Club Investigation Terms Of Reference
Appointment of investigator and terms of reference
- The Racing Commission (the commission) and the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs (the commissioner) jointly have a regulatory interest in the management and operation of the Darwin Greyhound Association Incorporated (DGA) and seek to conduct an investigation into the affairs of the association. In accord with section 57(1) of the Racing and Betting Act 1983 and section 93 of the Associations Act 2003, the commission and commissioner have jointly determined to appoint an investigator to investigate matters relating to greyhound operations and associations obligations.
Terms of reference
- to investigate whether the DGA is operating their association in accordance with the Associations Act, appropriate governance and business practice and standards, and meeting obligations as set out in their NT Government funding agreement
- to investigate whether the DGA is compliant with building / construction, tenancy and other laws in relation to the DGA premises located at 15 Hook Road, Winnellie
- to investigate whether the greyhound industry in the NT has sufficient policies and procedures to ensure best practice animal welfare standards are being adhered to
- to investigate whether additional policies, procedures or guidelines are required for the DGA to meet their obligations under the Racing and Betting Act
- to investigate whether the constitution adequately addresses, and is consistent with, the greyhound rules
- to investigate specific claims with regard to a complaint dated 20 August 2018
- to note any additional information that may be relevant to the regulation of greyhounds in the NT that is not addressed above
- consider all available evidence and document the investigation
- where there are contentious facts and a recommendation is made as to which evidence is to be preferred, the reasons for preferring that evidence over other evidence should be clearly set out
- to complete a report on the findings of the investigation including any recommendations and directions to the management committee of the DGA.
- The investigator should ensure that the investigation is completed and a report provided as soon as is practicable.
The investigator is in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness:
- interview persons he / she considers necessary to carry out the investigation
- access records in Licensing NT in relation to the matters relevant to the terms of reference, and
- seek any guidance required from time to time from the commissioner or the chairperson of the Racing Commission
The investigator is authorised, as considered necessary for the purpose of the investigation, to:
Darwin Greyhound Association members and industry participants can submit information to the investigation at the email address: [email protected]